8 – A Monastery Is Not A Prison

After being disowned by the Royal Family, Princess Marina Irene received the title of Duchess of Dumfelt. It was also the name of a forsaken land outside the capital.

Nestled in the Wasteland Hills, the Dumfelt family used Marina Dumfelts vast fortune to level the land and repair the mansion on it.

Viktor increased the familys wealth with the spoils from the pirates ships that were lawfully his after taxes were paid.

On a hill overlooking the sea, in the Dumfelt familys forest, the naval staff was in full training. They practised with rifles, but Viktor was concentrated on getting used to the silver and diamond pistols with embossed royal emblems he had been gifted.

“Its for decoration,” Viktor muttered as he rubbed his face with his left hand.

Viktor had always achieved overwhelming results in all disciplines; relentless training enhanced his natural talents.

Vice-captain Evan smiled cheerfully at the rare sight of his superiors difficulties.

“What do you mean decoration? Its but a sacred relic full of history and tradition.”

Bothsacred anddecoration were quite accurate descriptions.

Viktor raised his pistol trying to refocus on his task but saw Pallin approaching from afar.

He then looked at the target and shot his pistol. Contrary to his denigrations and the heavy decoration, the bullet hit the centre and pierced right through the target.

“Captain, Sir Gregory ordered Scarlett to go to the monastery!” Pallin approached.

Gregory was a second son, so he hadnt inherited nor had he been given any titles because of his unsanctioned marriage. He wasnt supposed to be called Sir, but the title of Lord was commonly used to designate Naval or Police officers. 

After listening to a somewhat excited Pallin, Viktor spoke as he loaded his pistol with bullets.

“A monastery is not a prison.”

“Is that really so?”

“Why? Are you afraid that I will lock her up for the rest of her life like my mother?”

“…I didnt say that.”

“Youre implying it.”

While speaking, Viktor, who was aiming at the target with ease, quickly changed his aim.

After he fired two shots in a row, a deer fell. Indifferent to the animals death, Viktor continued.

“It wont happen. My wife betrayed me, she isnt crazy.”

After Viktor shot the last bullet, at the target this time, the groundskeepers retrieved the deer.

Seeing the blood pouring out, Pallin shut his eyes tightly. When he reopened them, Viktor had left, and Evan was right behind him.

“Its not a good idea to meddle in their affairs. You should leave it alone.”

“I know that, but its true that the Captain doesnt take Duchess Marina out of the monastery.”

“Well, there must be a reason for that.”

“Even if it is your own mother?”

Pallin took a deep breath and ruffled his red hair. Even though Evan might think its meddling, he couldnt help feeling very concerned.

♔♔♔

At dinner that night, Scarlett quietly observed Viktor, who sat opposite her. He was eating in a suit, just like on the first day of their marriage.

In the early days, she would stare at him while he dined elegantly.

He hadnt changed in the past two years. Whether she laughed or cried at the table, he continued to eat in a dignified manner. Scarlett, who now could keep her composure as well as he did, asked:

“Viktor, did you hear about the monastery from Sir Pallin?”

“Go.”

At his indifferent words, Scarlett accidentally dropped the spoon on the plate.

Ignoring the spoon, she continued,“…for how long?”

“Well.”

“It cant be too long. I might run away because I miss you.”

She said laughing.

Viktor didnt answer immediately, furrowing his brow.

“Is a month long enough?” she asked

“Do whatever you feel like.”

“It cant be any longer. Come pick me up, in a month.”

“Okay.”

“Viktor.”

She called him, waiting for him to look at her.

As Viktor shifted her gaze towards her, she uttered sweetly.

“I love you.”

“Me too.”

Except when Viktor needed something, it was usually Scarlett who said she loved him first, and Viktor would only occasionally add that he loved her as well, always in the same tone. It left Scarlett with mixed feelings of joy and loneliness.

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